Basically, when Carleton County Jail, better known as Nicolas Street Jail closed in 1972 after more than 100 years of action (it was built in 1862 next to and connected by a tunnel to the courthouse), the hostel took it over and allows visitors to sleep in the cells -- they make great dorms! The top floor of 'death row' has been restored and you can see it on a tour.
It was famous for being the site of the hanging of Patrick Whelan for his assassination of Thomas D'Arcy McGee, and he's said to haunt death row. Surprisingly, it seems as if there were only 3 (official) executions there, the last being in 1946. Excavations of the grounds have turned up several unmarked graves, and the conditions in the jail were inhumane with severe crowding (150 prisoners sharing 60 smaller and 30 larger cells), and 6 solitary confinement cells. The gallows remain and the location (as a tourist attraction) can't be beat!
|Restored singles on 'death row'|